Pro-Claimant Demo Gets Great Public Support in West Derby
Members of Liverpool IWW joined around a dozen activists, including people from the benefits advice group Reclaim, outside West Derby job centre on Eaton Road this lunchtime. This was part of a national day of action in solidarity with Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox. Tony was arrested on 29th January after Arbroath job centre management called police to stop him representing a vulnerable jobseeker. We protested to drive home the message that ‘advocacy is not a crime’, and aiming to build towards smashing sanctions against unemployed workers.
Teamster members across the country are organizing for new leadership and a new direction in our International Union.
In the last International Union election, the opposition forces were divided.
This time Local 804 President Tim Sylvester, Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman and other Teamster leaders are building a coalition effort that is uniting Teamsters, including former Hoffa supporters, in one movement for a stronger union.
Get involved with Teamster officers and members who are building a movement to elect new International Union leadership and rebuild Teamster power.
Click here to RSVP for the March 14 meeting in NYC.
Or "join" the event on Facebook.
Click here to RSVP for the March 15 meeting in Worcester.
Or "join" the event on Facebook.
Email takebackourunion2016 [at] gmail.com if you have any questions about the meetings.
February 25, 2015: "The weather was cold yesterday but the crowd came together for the first rally of the growing protest against the latest attack on workers and the Middle class in Wisconsin," says Local 200 retiree and TDU Steering Committee member Dan Campbell.
Click here to read more on the new threat of 'right-to-work' legislation in Wisconsin.
Whit Wyatt of Washington Court House worked as a teamster truck driver for 33 years. Now Whit and his wife Barb have a comfortable retirement living on Whit's teamster pension and social security.
But Wyatt is one of hundreds of thousands of union retirees who may soon see severe cuts to their monthly pension checks. “I've planned my life around my guaranteed pension and it just looks like that's going to be taken away," Wyatt said.
Click here to read more.Issues: Pension and Benefits
February 23, 2015: Teamsters in Ohio are joining the movement for change in the International union. Ben Sizemore, A YRC driver in Local 407 told the Cleveland meeting yesterday “We’re goin’ to smoke ‘em in the election next year.”
Teamsters from Columbus Local 413 braved nasty weather this past Saturday to hear Tim Sylvester, Fred Zuckerman, and their own local President Tony Jones, lay out their ideas and plans for taking back the IBT for the rank and file membership. 75 Teamsters attended, from various shops and crafts. Members talked about the downhill slide in Teamster contracts and Teamster power during Hoffa’s 16 years in office.
Cleveland-Akron Teamsters came out on Sunday from Locals 24, 407, 964, 377, along with Teamsters from Western Pennsylvania. The room was wall-to-wall solidarity and unity of purpose: building a strong movement to restore Teamster power and pride.
21 February 2015
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has welcomed a tentative agreement struck between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports of the USA.
Negotiations had been underway since June last year in what had become an increasingly bitter dispute.
The PMA earlier this week ratcheted up their side of the bargaining by banning loading and unloading on nights, weekends and holidays.
The deal was reached with assistance from US Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director, Scot Beckenbaugh.
“This is great news for workers at all 29 West Coast Ports, who can now get on with the job and their lives without a protracted negotiation hanging over their heads,” ITF president and dockers’ section chair, Paddy Crumlin, said.
“I’d like to congratulate ILWU President Bob McEllrath and his negotiating team.
“The ITF and its affiliates have been offering their support and solidarity with the ILWU workers on the West Coast from right around the globe.
“This is a win for dockers the world over.”
A joint statement from ILWU President Bob McEllrath and PMA President James McKenna said that parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time and that it is still subject to ratification by both parties.
“After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry,” the joint statement said.
“We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.”
Big ships with capacities of 8,000 to as much as 14,000 20-foot containers call regularly now at West Coast ports.
Some industry experts predict that by 2020 vessels with capacities of 18,000 TEUs will be serving the West Coast.
Vessels of that size are already calling in the Asia-Europe trades, and ports in those regions are struggling to cope with the cargo surges that are created by big ships.
February 23, 2015: Starting wages for Walmart workers will soon match starting pay for part-timers at UPS. What’s wrong with this picture?
Walmart announced it is raising its minimum wage to $9 an hour and that starting pay will be hiked to $10 an hour in February 2016.
That means wages at Walmart, the nation’s biggest exploiter of low-wage labor, will match starting pay at UPS under our union’s biggest contract. That’s just embarrassing.
Even worse, the contract inked this year by Hoffa and Hall freezes starting pay for part-timers at the $10 level through 2018. Minimum wages are already higher than that in several cities—and many states and even the federal government are considering minimum wage hikes that would top $10 an hour.
Of course, it’s true that UPS part-timers get benefits, union protection and guaranteed annual raises that Walmart workers do not. But UPS part-timers also do back-breaking work and are guaranteed just three-and-a-half hours of work a shift.
Anyway you slice it, part-time starting pay at UPS is a scandal.
Walmart executives aren’t raising wages out of the goodness of their hearts. They are doing it to combat turnover and because the company has been the target of a nationwide grassroots campaign by workers, labor unions and community groups.
The Teamsters Union backs this campaign—and we should. But we should also be taking care of business in our own backyard, starting with UPS. A company that hauls in $4 billion a year in profits shouldn’t be paying anyone $10 an hour.
It’s time to End Part-Time Poverty from Walmart to UPS.
SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 20, 2015) – The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union today announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports. The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.
“After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Bob McEllrath in a joint statement. “We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.”
Railway labor troubles are continuing in Canada.
Unifor, a labor union that represents about 4,800 workers at Canadian National Railway, said it will begin strike votes next week after five months of talks failed to produce an agreement.
Click here to read more at Transport Topics.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez directed the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to reach a tentative contract deal today or face the prospect of talks next week in Washington’s politically charged environment, news services reported.
Perez was dispatched to San Francisco earlier this week by President Obama to resolve the long-running talks, which now are in their 10th month. Negotiations involve 20,000 workers who handle about half of U.S. containerized freight at 29 West Coast ports.
Click here to read more.
Laval -- On the morning of Monday, February 16, 2015, the IWW Montreal, the Student Workers Union of the University of Quebec at Montreal, as well as several other citizens, took part in the disruption of a Canada Post distribution center in Laval, Quebec.
This action in solidarity with postal workers is set in a current context of struggles against austerity, and in the scope of the campaign for a social strike on May 1st 2015.
Today, many workers are directly confronted with the effects of budget cuts to health services, to municipal employees, to firemen and firewomen, to postal workers, to students, to workers in the private sector...
Yet, resistance is organizing itself everywhere. We will not let different governments (whether conservative or liberal) and the bosses impose their anti-social measures on us. The time of a minority enriching itself on the back of an impoverished majority is finished.
A federal judge late Tuesday approved a landmark settlement that will phase out and end the government’s oversight and 25-year consent decree to keep mob influence out of the 1.4 million-member union.
Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said in a four-page ruling that a “thorough review of the final agreement and order reveals that the settlement must be approved.” She added that “there is no doubt that the decree is procedurally proper, that its terms are clear, that it reflects a resolution of the claims at issue, and that it is untainted by collusion or corruption.”
Click here to read more are The Detroit News.Issues: Labor Movement
A strike by about 3,000 locomotive engineers and conductors at the Canadian Pacific Railway unexpectedly ended on Monday, its second day, as both sides agreed to arbitration. The announcement came about half an hour before a bill was to be introduced in Parliament ordering the members of the union, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, back to work.
Canadian Pacific said the “ramp-up process” to resume train service had begun. Though it could not say precisely how long that would take, a spokesman, Martin Cej, said “it will be fast.”
Click here to read more at The New York Times.Issues: Rail
Dennis Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and President of the Teamsters Rail Conference (U.S.), blasted Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) today for its growing culture of threats and intimidation toward its employees in the U.S. and Canada. Pierce commented following CP’s issuance of a letter to the BLET representatives on its U.S. operations, Soo Line and the Delaware & Hudson.
In those notices, CP threatened its U.S.-based locomotive engineers who work into Canada with disciplinary action, even termination, if they refuse to cross picket lines manned by their legally striking Canadian Brothers and Sisters belonging to Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).
Click here to read more.Issues: Rail
With idled cargo ships piling up along the coastline, President Obama ordered his labor secretary to California to try to head off a costly shutdown of 29 West Coast ports.
Obama dispatched Tom Perez on Saturday to jump-start stalled labor talks between shipping companies and the dockworkers' union. The move ramps up pressure to resolve a dispute that stranded tens of thousands of containers on cargo ships over the holiday weekend.
Click here to read more at Los Angeles Times.Issues: Labor Movement
Bill Hendershot and his wife live on his union pension and Social Security. Hendershot, a retired Consolidated Freightways long-distance truck driver, gets around now in a 12-year-old Toyota Corolla. The couple still pay a mortgage on their home in Canal Fulton.
And he’s among a huge group of union retirees nationwide who could see their monthly private pension payments cut as much as 60 percent under a national reform measure signed into law in December by President Barack Obama.
Click here to read more.Issues: Pension and Benefits
Judge reserves decision on deal to end fed consent order.
Click here to read more.Issues: Labor Movement Files ConsentOrderHearing.pdf
Terminal operators at ports along the U.S. West Coast will, for the second time in less than a week, suspend vessel loadings amid a labor dispute with dockworkers.
Vessel loadings and unloadings will be stopped Feb. 12 and again Feb. 14-16, the Pacific Maritime Association, a San Francisco-based group representing employers in the negotiations with longshoremen, said by e-mail Feb. 11. Association members cited “ongoing and costly” worker slowdowns in their decision to halt vessel traffic. Some yard, gate and rail operations will continue.
Click here to read more at Transport Topics.Issues: Labor Movement
February 11, 2015
ILWU International President Robert McEllrath has released the following update on the contract talks with the Pacific Maritime Association.